Impact Investments

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MacArthur today announced its progress and plans for $26 million in impact investments to advance innovative energy efficiency financing specifically designed for multifamily housing.

The investments were announced as part of the White House’s Clean Energy Investment Summit about a range of energy efficiency commitments from U.S. philanthropies, and include:

  • $5 million for Commons Energy L3C, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, to adapt the energy services company model to public purpose buildings in underserved markets.

“Financing energy efficiency improvements in the multifamily sector is vitally important, but also challenging because there is no one-size-fits-all solution,” said Debra Schwartz, MacArthur’s Director of Impact Investments. “As a flexible and problem-driven impact investor, we are providing the risk-tolerant, patient capital that these groundbreaking programs need to build a track record, create transferable, scalable models, and crowd in substantial, additional investment over time.”

MacArthur previously invested $6 million to support Energy Savers, the country's largest multifamily energy efficiency program, through a loan to the Chicago-based Community Investment Corporation. Another $10 million has been committed for the launch of pilot energy efficiency financing programs in California during 2015 through a partnership with the Energy Department of the State of California and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This portfolio of energy efficiency investments builds on MacArthur’s long history in conservation and environmental stewardship and a 30-year track record as a leading impact investor. Over the next 15 years, the Foundation projects that its $26 million in total commitments will leverage enough capital to retrofit approximately 165,000 units of affordable multifamily housing and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 500,000 metric tons. This will not only reduce the carbon footprints of some of the country’s least energy efficient buildings, but also make these homes more affordable for low-income families, seniors, and individuals with special needs.

Impact Investments